Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Missed Connections

We’ve been tabs on the Craigslist Missed Connections for the past few months for you, dear readers. And all that cruising research revealed a few patterns in these postings.

Missed Connections usually have one of two leads: “This is a long shot…” or “I’ve never done this before…”

Then the poster describes what the person in question was wearing, but leaves one critical detail out. He/she ends with “Tell me what color hat I was wearing so I know it’s you.”

It’s sort of the 21st-century equivalent of, “Meet me here. I’ll be wearing a yellow scarf and I’ll have my left hand in my pocket.”

This type of personal ad is nothing new: newspapers attracted hopeless romantics for years with entire sections of coded love letters. (“SWM seeks SWF…”)

Online dating seems to have taken the place personal ads, and probably for good reason. A match.com profile tells you a lot more than a 20-word half sentence, and photos somehow seem a lot more reassuring than a phone number.

But even online dating skeptics read Missed Connections religiously in a move that, when you really think about it, is more old-fashioned than anything else.

The idea seems to be that someone could spot you in a crowded bar and instantly know that you’re “The One.”This is, perhaps, the definition of a hopeless romantic.

Because when you think about it, a guy posting on Missed Connection probably remembers three things about you: your hair color, the size of your boobs, and what your ass looks like in a pair of tight jeans.

The guy on match.com, on the other hand, at least has the optionof looking at your interests and deciding whether or not you two would be compatible.

So, really, the guys posting on Missed Connections are looking for an opening line with a really hot girl who’d never give them the time of day if they approached her in a bar.

It’s rude and creepy to approach a woman and say, “You’re so hot.”

But when you go to Missed Connections and say, “Saw you on the Metro. You were so beautiful. Let’s get dinner?”, suddenly it’s romantic.

Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that these postings rarely lead to relationships.

Though it is interesting to note that the most vague postings get the most replies in post form (we obviously have no way of tracking which posts get the most e-mail replies).

There’s a pretty obvious explanation for this: everyone who’s reading Missed Connections wants to find a post about themselves.

But if a guy posts, “You’re a brunette. I smiled at you on the blue line this morning,” isn’t that a little suspect? That he felt such a huge connection with this girl, but he can only remember her hair color?

And so, while we get that present company/circumstances/manners sometimes prevent people from making a move, it’s unclear how much a missed connection written by someone who saw you cross the street should count.

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